NPR logo Sheets Of Ice Slide Off Super Bowl Stadium; 6 Hurt


Sheets Of Ice Slide Off Super Bowl Stadium; 6 Hurt

Ice and snow from a surprise Texas storm slid off the roof of Cowboys Stadium on Friday and injured six workers preparing for Sunday's Super Bowl.

One man was hit in the head and another in the shoulder, said Arlington Fire Department spokesman Pedro Arevalo. They were in stable condition at a nearby hospital. The other four injuries were described as minor.

Winter weather has plagued Super Bowl week in the Dallas area — first an ice storm, then rolling power outages while the region had its coldest day since 1989. And today, a surprise 5-inch snowfall.

Luckily, the stadium has a roof, and it's been closed all week. Not so luckily, huge sheets of ice and snow began sliding off that roof around midday Friday.

Food service worker Doug McCracken said he and a friend pulled up to the area just in time to see what looked like snow flurries blowing off the building. Wonder turned to shock when he realized someone had been hit.

"What we saw was hard ice. It shattered, it was everywhere," McCracken said. "We thought maybe it was snow at first but it was ice. Hard ice."

The accident forced officials to shut all but one entrance to the stadium, and they raised the temperature inside in an attempt to melt any remaining ice. Arevalo, the fire department spokesman, told The Dallas Morning News that authorities hadn't dealt with ice falling from the roof of the two-year-old stadium before, so they hadn't planned for it.

"All this stuff just keeps getting thrown at us," he says, "but we've been prepared and we're ready for these types of situations — other than the ice. That's one thing we didn't take into consideration."

And forecasts for Sunday — which earlier in the week called for sunshine and temperatures near 60 — have taken a wintry turn. now predicts a high topping out at 41 with a chance of rain or snow Sunday morning.

This will be the first Super Bowl ever in North Texas. And that stadium roof? Officials promise it will stay closed when the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers face off Sunday night.